You don’t have to be a basketball fan to have heard of the Ball family. LaVar Ball and his sons regularly make headlines. There’s no coincidence here–LaVar is constantly working it. Oldest son Lonzo is an NBA rookie who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. His other two boys, LiAngelo and LaMelo are both future NBA prospects, though they’ve taken a detour and are currently playing in Lithuania. LiAngelo was on a trip to China with the UCLA basketball team, arrested for shoplifting and suspended for a year.
LaVar thought the suspension was too extreme
LaVar pulled his kid out of UCLA and sent the two younger boys to some kind of Lithuanian league—apparently there was little interest in sticking around a prestigious school like UCLA to get an education. Note that the shoplifting was in China—a communist country with a terrible human rights record. LiAngelo could have spent the next 20 years in isolation. A year away from college basketball was a gift.
If you talk to any sports fan, commentator or coach they’ll tell you that LaVar needs to shut up and let his kids play ball. LaVar Ball’s endless commentary has made him one of the most polarizing figures in sports today. Most of us find Ball’s constant boasting about himself and his sons offensive, especially those of us who were taught that if we’re really great, people will know that by our actions.
Big Baller Brand embraces endless self-promotion
You may/not be aware that Facebook has a video platform, and LaVar and his sons are one of the channel’s most popular reality programs. They also have their own sportswear label, Big Baller Brand, and they’re using Facebook to market themselves and their products.
Here’s what we can learn from the Big Ballers
The Ball family has created multiple Facebook and Instagram pages for all of the individual Ballers and the Big Baller Brand itself. They also leverage Facebook Live, Instagram Stories and Facebook Groups linked to their Pages to further expand their brand reach, along with the Facebook Watch show. Facebook lays out a basic playbook for how Big Baller Brand has utilized Facebook ads. This is what we can learn from them.
- They installed the Facebook Pixel to see how successful their ads were, and how close customers came to purchasing an item from the Big Baller Brand online store.
- The Balls used Facebook Ads Manager to build and deploy ads on Facebook.
- They created textbook-perfect ads—a clear call-to-action, crisp images showcasing specific apparel items and links to that featured item.
- Built Engagement Custom Audiences in Ads Manager to target known fans, such as those who have interacted with one of the Ball Family Pages or have watched their videos.
- Created lookalike audiences to expand the reach of the campaign to send new ads to people with similar qualities to those completing purchases on bigballerbrand.com.
- Deployed remarketing techniques to retarget fans who visited the online store but didn’t complete a purchase.
If you’ve done Facebook advertising or are just beginning to experiment with it, you’ll see that this is a comprehensive effort to boost a Facebook campaign strategy.
Remarketing is key: You’re reaching a vulnerable consumer
Remarketing focuses on those who may have gone to the Big Baller store, put a product in their carts, but failed to complete the purchase. This segment is more than a warm lead; it’s red hot. It’s a potential customer who is vulnerable—he’s been to your store, is familiar with your merchandise and liked at least one item enough to add it to the cart. There’s a good chance that, with a little nudge, he might be convinced to go back and complete the purchase. One thing that would help him decide? Tell him that it’s almost sold out, that there’s limited inventory, or only 4 items left.
This formula has been very successful for the Big Ballers
Facebook advertising success is going to depend on how much time and money you are prepared to spend on this effort. But this process has driven results for the Balls. Their Facebook ads drove:
- A 17.76% purchase lift during the campaign
- A 16.9% conversion lift
- 140,000 outbound clicks to the BBB online store
Keep in mind that we’re dealing with celebrities here—a young athlete with a promising future and a father who never misses an opportunity to get in front of a camera—so the numbers are going to skew high. Nevertheless, this is a good Facebook marketing strategy that any business can replicate.